US criticism of Chinese overcapacity rehashes ‘China threat’ rhetoric: Xinhua

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US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen comments on China’s excess manufacturing capacity seek to rehash “China threat” rhetoric and appear to create a pretext for more protectionist policies from the US, Chinese state media said.

Such comments seek to undermine China’s domestic growth and international cooperation, and Washington should focus on fostering innovation and competitiveness within its own borders instead of resorting to fear-mongering, state news agency Xinhua said in an editorial late on Friday.

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Yellen told US businesspeople in China’s southern export hub of Guangzhou on Friday that concerns are growing over the global economic fallout from China’s excess manufacturing capacity, making the issue the focus of her four days of meetings with Chinese officials.

Citing China’s overproduction of electric vehicles, solar panels, semiconductors and other goods that are flooding into global markets in the face of a demand slump in China’s domestic market, Yellen said this was not healthy for China and was hurting producers in other countries.

“Talking up ‘Chinese overcapacity’ in the clean energy sector also smacks of creating a pretext for rolling out more protectionist policies to shield US companies,” Xinhua said.

“After all, it is now known by the world that Washington will not hesitate to show its protectionist teeth under the guise of national security in areas where its supremacy is challenged.”

Yellen met with Vice Premier He Lifeng and Guangdong Province Governor Wang Weizhong in Guangzhou after arriving in China late on Thursday.

She is to travel on Saturday to Beijing, where she will meet officials including Premier Li Qiang and People’s Bank of China Governor Pan Gongsheng through Monday, according to a Treasury press advisory.

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